San Antonio Spurs 2010-11 schedule under the magnifying glass

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Taking a close look at the San Antonio Spurs' 2010-2011 schedule.

The San Antonio Spurs 2010-2011 regular season schedule was released on Tuesday. In what could be the last year (or is that next year?) that the Spurs compete for an NBA title, we take a look at the schedule and see what lies ahead for the silver and black from late October to mid-April.

  • San Antonio’s first game of the season is October 27 at home against the Indiana Pacers.
  • In December, 11 of the Spurs’ 15 games are at the AT&T Center.
  • Jeff McDonald of the Express-News tweeted that the Spurs will be on national TV 22 times next season.
  • The Rodeo Road Trip runs nine games from February 1 through 17. The Spurs play Portland, the Lakers, Sacramento, Detroit, Toronto, Philadelphia, Washington, New Jersey and Chicago on the trip. Absent is the usual combination of two straight games in the Staples Center against the Lakers and Clippers. In fact, the Spurs don’t do that two step at all this season. But there are three back-to-back sets on the RRT.
  • All-Star Weekend is February 18-20. Will Tim Duncan continue his streak? Will Tony Parker join him? Tiago Splitter vs. DeJuan Blair in the Rookie-Sophomore game? (Yes, please. To all.)
  • The heir-to-the-throne Miami Heat make their only regular season visit to the AT&T Center on Friday, March 4. The Lakers make one of their two appearances a couple days later on Sunday, March 6.
  • The Spurs play 29 of their 50 games in 2011 on the road (because of the Rodeo Road Trip).
  • The silver and black play 18 back-to-backs in 2010-2011. Seven of those are in March and April. Ugh.
  • The Spurs’ hardest stretch of games may be the eight game slate from March 23 to April 5. San Antonio plays Denver, Portland, Memphis, Portland again, Boston, Houston, Phoenix and Atlanta. There are two-and-a-half back-to-backs in that stretch (the Atlanta game is the first of another back-to-back) and those teams were a combined 392-264 last season. That span of games may determine where San Antonio ends up in the Western Conference standings.
  • ThatBigGuy

    @ Jim

    I bet the Hornets were the mastermind behind that whole thing. They’re going to pull out all the stops to make sure Paul stays happy. This is a good move as it dumps Posey’s carcass and gives Paul a sweet fast break partner in Ariza.

  • GitErDun

    The winners out of the West will depend directly on Team Health. If Kobe or Gasol were to go down, or Nowitzki, or Durant, or ?????, that team is finished. Same applies to the East – injuries show no respect or star treatment. Any one of Miami’s 3 go down and its over for them. Staying healthy is a crap shoot.

  • Dr. Who

    I’ve already posted a novel somewhere stating how many teams have imporved in the West. It will not be a cakewalk. And assessing to what degree the improvements are made will be something to watch.

    @Lenneezz
    You know the Mavs have another PG that is lightning fast and can flat out ball right? Roddy’s development and Chandler’s health will be huge for the Mavs. We didn’t see much of Frenchy last year in the playoffs. He suffered in a similar vein of what Pop did to Hill his rookie season and was left on the bench since he was so young. AFAIK Frenchy is the only rookie in NBA history to average over 50% from the field, 40% from 3 and 80% from the FT line. Very interesting prospect. Could be a handful for the Spurs if used properly and IF he develops. Plus Mahimi “the Savior” is in Dallas. No way we can win now since he was supposed to be the second coming. All kidding aside, it means his brain will be picked to death about TD’s tendencies etc. Can’t hurt their chances having someone out of Spurs camp with corporate knowledge of playrs and the system.

    When assessing how little the other teams in the West imporved we need to take off our Spurscolored glasses and look at how someone in Portland/Utah/LA/Dallas thinks the Spurs improved. After getting swept in the playoffs and embarassed ,it became evident that we needed a defensive stopper on the wing, shot blocking on the inside, and 3 pt shooters. Those weaknesses were more than exposed by the Suns. We got Splitter and resigned Jeff/Bonner; also dumped Mase and the defensive Bogans (and there was much rejoice). So when people say the West hasn’t improved by what little moves have been made (which I don’t totally agree with), can we honestly say on paper that the Spurs have improved much more from a purely un-biased perspective? Defensive wing stopper… nope; 3 point shooting… nope (only resigning Bonner who is only a bench player), shot blocking presence… nope. Anderson may help with 3pt shooting but we don’t know he’s a rookie. Splitter may help with team defense and open up passing lanes since he has above average vision for a big man but he’s a rookie. Temple may turn into a serviceable stopper and if he can hit a corner 3 that would be perfect. Then again, he’s almost a rookie. Lots of expectations of improvement of young players in order for the Spurs to succeed. I do hope we struck gold with several of our young guys; but only time will tell. On paper we have not made huge leaps I think a 6 or 5 pre-season ranking is more than valid for the on paper moves. If the FO found some jewels it will show next year and we’ll climb in the rankings, if not I’d expect a 6 or 5th seed.

  • Tyler

    I like that deal for everyone invlolved. Indiana finally gets a PG, Rockets move Ariza (who I think is overpaid a little) and open up more PT for Battier (who should be more effective as a quality spot up shooter with Yao in the lineup) and get a solid backup SG in Courtney Lee, and NO gets Paul some help in the backcourt.

  • DieHardSpur

    If we are to make a serious run at the title, a few things have to fall into place…

    1. Splitter has to play extremely well, both offensifely and defensively. (30+ minutes)

    2. All of our BIG 3 have to stay healthy.

    3. RJ has to be a consistent contributor (points/rebounds)

    4. Our shooters need to knock down the open shot.

    When I say that Tiago needs to play extremely well, I am referring to 16 points and 10 rebounds. He needs to be a very effective team and 1-on-1 defender. This will bring our front court back to ELITE status.

    Timmy, and Manu need to see their minutes reduced by about 5 minutes per game and log DNP’s on back to back. I would also like to see their minutes drop within the last 2 weeks of the season to about 20 minutes – to save them for the playoffs. Tony will be in fantastic shap with alot to prove for his max contract.

    RJ needs to bang the boards like he did in the ladder half of the season. This will build his confidence. We need to have him implemented into the offence… he needs plays run for him. Get him started early. i am fine wit him averaging 12.5 pts per game – as long as it is every damn game. He needs to show up – and have at least 9 attempts.

    How many times last year did we run the play perfectly, make the extra pass, and then have a “shooter” miss the wide open shot? We lost 8-10 games last year for the lack of a guy to knock down the open shot. I am hoping that Anderson and Neal will provide the balls to take the big shot with confidence.

    I know this sounds like a bunch of hopes and dreams, but I am not asking that much in all reality. The best chance at us competing for a ring this year is the assimilation of Tiago Splitter. If he can play like a man on a mission to win a ring in his first year, we have a great shot!

    Go Spurs Go!

  • ThatBigGuy

    @ Dr. Who

    You’re giving Mahinmi a little too much credit. If he had gained enough corporate knowledge to make him valuable to the Mavs, we wouldn’t have let him go. Besides, the Mavs already know how the Timmy and the Spurs play, seeing as Tim’s played against them 65 times in his career.

  • Dr. Who

    @ThatBigGuy
    Adding Mahimi (practice players from a competetive team) never hurts. That’s all I said. No doubt they know TD well form the many battles over the years. Let’s just say now they know him a tad better.

    In another post I harped on TD abusing Dampier since birth and Chandler giving him more fits one on one than Damps. If Chandler can stay healthy that’s a big upgrade. I like poking fun at the whole Mahimi situation since so many were on his bandwagon. I thought he deserved more burn at times, but never thought of him as a saviour. He’ll do about as much for the Mavs as Pops Mensa and Haislip will do for their respective teams if even on NBA rosters. He’ll be another big body in practice or to be used in reserve minutes.

  • Firebrand

    First off this quote from hobson 13, “With the Suns, I have no idea what the hell they will look like. They could look like Frankenstein or Gisele.” , that cracks me up. On to the business at hand.

    I would like to address Mr Henderson’s statement regarding others seeming to hope for the demise of the Rockets and Blazers due to Injury. I myself believe that it is more wishful thinking that these teams are going to be 2nd and 3rd respectively.

    The rockets , while the blazers where busy taking the phoenix suns to 6 games in the opening round (OKC meanwhile was taking the eventual champion Lakers to 6) these rockets did not even make the playoffs last year Heck they where only 2 games above 500 . What we are looking at here is the hope that a healthy Yao and the addition of Brad Miller are going to propel this team into the number 2 seed. I am not certain when the story broke in relation to your post about Ariza being shipped to NO to keep cpremeddona3 happy but, that is also a downgrade of serious proportions. I dont see the rockets being out of the playoffs per se but i do see them as 3rd best in their division behind los spurs and los mavs. So maybe an 8th seed maybe ? BTW regardless of Ariza or not i still would have put them 3rd best in the division …. anyone disagree ?

    Portland …. what can I say they play hard, have two 50 plus win seasons behind them, and the incredible breakable center in greg oden . What did they do in free agency they picked up San Antonio bred Wesley Mathews who just so happens to be the same age as me. I like this kid this will be his sophmore year he showed last year he can shoot the three, is an over 80% freethrow shooter heck I want this kid for our sf of the future even tho he is listed as a guard… but I digress. In all honesty im kinda doing this on the fly and can not stand it when anyone who has faith in the blazers or rockets but damn the blazers look pretty solid this year assuming of course Greg Oden can stay in one piece . Even without Oden they look good . I can see them in the top 4 for sure. I would put it something like this. Note I think the spurs will havew more wins than the blazers but get seeded 4th by virtue of the 123 division winners rule.

    1.Lakers
    2.Mavericks
    3.Blazers
    4.Spurs
    5.Thunder
    6.Nuggets
    7.Jazz
    8.Suns

    Gimme some rockets,Hornets and Warriors wild.
    P.S. the computer did not mark cpremeddona3 in the spell check . I thought that was hilarious!

  • http://projectspurs.com Robby

    Looks like the Spurs are in for a tough March and April, hopefully they can build on early and avoid having to struggle just to make the playoffs this time around.

    We have hope we now have Tiago, Anderson and Neal so I guess another 50+ win this season is well within reach.

    Btw please check out my latest post @ http://projectspurs.com/2010-articles/august/grading-the-spurs-offseason-moves.html and tell me what you guys think! Thanks!

  • Easy b

    rockets got much bigger down low and better on the perimeter and are still stacked at small forward. I’d say they have probably had the best offseason apart from Miami – on paper that is.

  • andy

    Jim Henderson
    August 11th, 2010 at 10:57 am

    “I’m simply not betting that the injury plague continues.”

    personally, i don’t see how you can, on the one hand, bank on the spurs’ inability to stay healthy or jell, yet on the other, disregard the rockets’ and blazers’ inability to stay healthy. by history, i’d say that’s the foolish thing. if fully healthy, sure, i’d give the blazers a shot at dethroning the lakers with all their length and athleticism, but that’s as big an if as our team coming together. the rockets have talent as well, just as we do. by all accounts though, he’s not going to be the player he was. maybe his comments were to take the CCP off his back for international competition, but i get the feeling he’s seen the end of his career pass the horizon.

    either way, i agree with the sentiment that no team will pass 60 wins in the west this year. i’m not ranking the teams because i think it’s futile when 2-8 were separated by 5 games last year. i think we’re in for much of the same down to the wire standings.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    @DoctorWho
    “You know the Mavs have another PG that is lightning fast and can flat out ball right?”

    Roddy B was very impressive last year and in his cameo in the playoffs; no doubt.
    Don’t forget though that he was a basically unknown rookie. Plus, he doesn’t seem to get his teammates involved. He is a nice scorer on their second team; reminds me of Barbosa in Phx. Is he a difference maker? Chandler is an upgrade no doubt. On paper they are pretty darn good. Maybe they’ll put together another great regular season…maybe.

    On the other hand, I could see a team that just looks old. Jet losing his range; Butler getting completely disinterested, Kidd losing a step, etc… I just don’t respect the Mavs at all. They always find a way to blow it.

  • Jim Henderson

    Dr. Who
    August 11th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    “Lots of expectations of improvement of young players in order for the Spurs to succeed.”

    Exactly, well put, and a point I’ve reiterated ad nauseam in the past several weeks.

    “On paper we have not made huge leaps I think a 6 or 5 pre-season ranking is more than valid for the on paper moves. If the FO found some jewels it will show next year and we’ll climb in the rankings, if not I’d expect a 6 or 5th seed.”

    Can’t say I disagree with that!

    Firebrand
    August 11th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    “I am not certain when the story broke in relation to your post about Ariza being shipped to NO to keep cpremeddona3 happy but, that is also a downgrade of serious proportions.”

    That is not a downgrade in the least. In fact the Rockets were TOO deep at the SF spot. Ariza & Battier are BOTH too good to share the SF spot. So they shipped out Ariza and his pricey contract, and picked up an excellent back-up for Kevin Martin in Courtney Lee. Lee could start for a number of teams at the SG position, but he’s young enough and cheap enough to be a great piece of insurance behind Martin. And then there is Budinger. This guy is going to be really good, so freeing up minutes for him behind Battier at SF instead of SG is a great idea because Budinger has the length to be groomed by Battier at the three spot. Houston probably has as much talent 1-10 as any team in the league.

    Last year, the Rockets had no Yao (a huge loss – try playing without Duncan for a whole season), Martin for only one third of the season, and Battier missed 15 games, most of them near the end of the season. Plus they have several quality young guys that are still improving (Brooks, Budinger, Lowry, Lee, Hill), and the 15th pick Patterson could also be pretty good.

    I don’t know what you’re looking at if you don’t think Houston is a threat for the #2 seed in the West. Do you have no idea how good Yao is? In fact, you don’t even rank them in the playoffs. I’ll tell you what, the chances that the Suns beat out the Rockets for a playoff spot this year is about one in a hundred, and I would bet you anything that does not occur. If the Suns get in, it won’t be at the expense of the Rockets. NO WAY.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    My top 5 wish list for this year

    1. A healthy Big 3

    2. Tiago to be a Brazilian monster

    3. Jefferson to be confident – Seeing him so scared and confused on the court DISGUSTED me.

    4. Hill and Blair going to the next level

    5. Good shooting from Neal, Anderson & Boner – They will get plenty of shots

    Extra credit : If Anderson focuses on perimeter defense.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    I wrote my list before I continued scrolling down and read this post.

    DieHardSpur
    August 11th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I guess us fans know what we need.

  • Justin

    I’ve been visiting this site for a couple of weeks now and have enjoyed the posts immensely. It’s so refreshing to be a part of a fanbase whose fans actually use logic and are well informed. Have u ever tried to read posts on ESPN? It’s pretty much a joke. This is my first post and hopefully will have more.
    With that said, I live in FL and have been a Spurs fan since the twin towers were constructed. I don’t get to watch as many games as u guys, just the ones on national tv. But the ones I did get to see were very disappointing. I had so many hopes for last season as I’m sure ya’ll did too. This is the first time I’ve been watching their offseason daily. That’s how worried I was. As bad as the season was, we came into the playoffs on a mission. With the team we had, going on the road, and beating Dallas in 6 was more than I expected.
    If we had a choice between beating only 1 of these 3 teams in the playoffs (Dallas,Phoenix,LA) I’m picking Dallas anyday. So we got something out of the postseason. On top of that, Hill and Blair played really well for their first postseason. This team as it stands, should be better than last year’s team going into playoffs.

  • Hobson13

    Jim Henderson
    August 11th, 2010 at 10:57 am

    “(For the Blazers) Injuries have been the problem for the past 2-3 years. I’m simply not betting that the injury plague continues. You can do so at your own peril.”

    I agree that injuries have been a HUGE part of them not realizing their potential for the past 2-3 years. However, I’m not necessarily assuming everyone is going to break a leg on their team. In reality, we have little idea how this team will pan out since they can’t all get on the floor together for more than a month at a time. Maybe they pound everyone next year. Maybe they finish 6th next year. The Blazers have too many unknowns for me.

    “Also, it was their 1st year under coach Carlisle (who regardless of some of his playoff decisions last year, is a solid coach), they only had Haywood & Butler on their team for 2 months, they hadn’t yet figured out how to get the young and talented Beaubois into the mix, and they picked up Chandler in place of Dampier, which is an upgrade in my view.”

    I agree that perhaps Carlisle’s system will be better understood and implemented by the Mavs this next year. I could also see, like you implied, the newer Mavs (Butler and Haywood) gelling better with more time under their belt. However, this doesn’t turn back the clock on Kidd, Terry, or Marion nor does it turn Caron Butler into an effecient scorer. Chandler in place of Dampier is only a marginal upgrade IMO. He is a better defender, but like Erica, brings nothing to the table on the offensive end.
    Bottom line: Dallas is over the cap, has only one young stud, used up their last trade asset in Damp, and have too many players on the wrong side of 30. Things don’t get much easier for the Mavs this next year.

    “Sure it’s hard to predict where the 2-8th seeds end up, but in my view, as it currently stands, the most likely final seeding is as follows:
    LA
    Rockets
    Blazers
    Mavs
    Spurs
    Thunder
    Nuggets
    Jazz”

    The Rockets could be the second best team, if Yao returns to All star form, but I am a bit worried about him. I’m sure you’ve seen this article about his foot, but if not, here it is:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ap-yaofuture

    He doesn’t sound too optimistic about the future. I can only imagine how difficult injuries must be for a 7’6″ dude. I really feel for the guy. He could have been an MVP caliber player if he wasn’t so injury prone.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    @ Justin

    Welcome to the site, we appreciate the good vibes. Make yourself at home.

  • Firebrand

    @ Mr. Henderson

    You just compared the rockets losing Yao Ming to the spurs losing Tim Duncan. Seriously I happen to thing Ming is one of the most overrated players in the league. He has averaged only 16.2 ppg has more than twice as many turnovers as assist about 1.5 bpg and just under 8rpg for his career not to mention has only been out of the opening round of the playoffs once. I think he is a good center top 5 in the league even, when he is healthy, but to put him on caliber with Tim Duncan is ridiculous . Timmy’s year when he was suffering for plantar fasciitis is still a better year then Ming’s best season.

    So with that said I dont think the addition of Ming is enough to boost them to the 2 seed. Courtney Lee is a good addition, I retract my earlier statement about the downgrade, he was even a starter for the magic in the finals and played opposite Ariza if i remember correctly. Still you have to reincorporate Ming, get Miller and Lee up to speed ( I realize Miller knows Adelmans system pretty well from his time in SAC) I think they need another year under there belt but who knows maybe they will gel early and I will be eating my words.

  • Dr. Who

    @Justin

    First post huh? And from Florida? We don’t want your kind around here go cheer for the Heat… :) Totally kidding!!!! We like to joke around here, or at least I do. Welcome to the board. Glad you took the dive and had your first post! Keep em’ coming. Let everyone know what you think. Some people will agree and others won’t, that’s the beauty of it. It’s always good to get a new fresh voice in here. By your playoffs comments I can tell you’re a real Spurs fan. What I mean is if you have a chance to only beat one team in the playoffs and then bow out; the Mavs and Cuban go to the top of list! Although seeing Fish and Kobe cry is pretty darn satifysing as well. Seeing Cuban squirm was priceless. We look forward to your posts. An active board is a happy one.

    PS
    Yes I’ve seen those ESPN boards, they are full of Mav/Laker idiot fans with zero logic behind their rants. Can’t stand them. Uh… we’ve got a few illogical beings on this board too. They’ll come out during the regular season. You’ll be able to pick them out really really fast. Enjoy!

  • Jim Henderson

    Hobson13
    August 11th, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    “Maybe they pound everyone next year. Maybe they finish 6th next year. The Blazers have too many unknowns for me.”

    Most teams have quite a few unknowns, including the Spurs. The best thing you can do is look at what they have on paper, evaluate their overall talent, look at their coaching staff, and make an assessment — a prediction of their likelihood of success against their competition. When I look at the Blazer’s under those conditions, I rank them 3rd in the West.

    “Bottom line: Dallas is over the cap, has only one young stud, used up their last trade asset in Damp, and have too many players on the wrong side of 30. Things don’t get much easier for the Mavs this next year.”

    Not much different than the Spurs, except we have TWO, NBA-proven young studs. Granted, the Mavs are getting a bit old in the tooth, but most of the Spurs NBA-proven players in the rotation are also on the old-side of the spectrum. I have them the Mavs/Spurs ranked 4 & 5. The Mavs do have 4 guys 6’11” and above. Can we neutralize their length in the paint will be a key factor.

    “The Rockets could be the second best team, if Yao returns to All star form, but I am a bit worried about him. I’m sure you’ve seen this article about his foot, but if not, here it is:”

    Yeah, I’ve read the article. Yao is a wild card for them to get to the #2 seed. Even if Yao misses part of the year though, I think the Rockets still have a good chance to get into the top five. They’re that deep, in my view.

    Firebrand
    August 12th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    “I think he is a good center top 5 in the league even, when he is healthy, but to put him on caliber with Tim Duncan is ridiculous.”

    First of all, I wasn’t directly comparing Yao and TD as players. I was merely saying that for the Rockets to play last year without Yao is reasonably comparable to the Spurs playing without TD last year.

    Career Numbers:

    TD: 21.6 ppg., 11.6 rpg., 2.3 bpg.

    Yao: 19.1 pg., 9.3 rpg., 1.9 bpg.

    Last Year’s Numbers:

    TD: 17.9 ppg., 10.1 rpg., 1.5 bpg.

    Yao: 19.7 ppg. 9.9 rpg., 1.9 bpg.

    Timmy has him beat in career numbers, but in all main categories the discrepancies are not large. And in their most recent year, Yao is now very comparable in terms of production, probably because he’s 30 years old and TD is now 34. The fact is, Yao’s production was SORELY missed by the Rockets last year, and you don’t seem to understand that. When healthy, Yao and D. Howard are the top two centers in the entire league.

  • DieHardSpur

    @ JIM HENDERSON

    “Last Year’s Numbers:

    TD: 17.9 ppg., 10.1 rpg., 1.5 bpg.

    Yao: 19.7 ppg. 9.9 rpg., 1.9 bpg.”

    Yao’s numbers lasy year were the following:

    0.0ppg., 0rpg., 0bpg.,

    It is kinda hard to bet on that…

    IF he’s heathy. THATS A BIG IF. YAO has never played an entire 82 game season.

    I hate it, because i love to see the masters in the paint go to work; it is alot like watching a master carpenter build something one of a kind… too bad we will never see YAO in that light every game for an entire year.

  • Jim Henderson

    DieHardSpur
    August 12th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    “Yao’s numbers lasy year were the following:

    0.0ppg., 0rpg., 0bpg.,

    It is kinda hard to bet on that…”

    Obviously, the numbers I used was for the year before; the last year he played! He’s only played less than 50 games in a season one other time in seven years.

    “IF he’s heathy. THATS A BIG IF. YAO has never played an entire 82 game season.”

    Yao has played all 82 games in TWO times in his 8 years in the league, which is 25% of the time. Duncan has played in all 82 games three times out of his 13 years in the league, which is 23% of the time.

    Yao has played in 73% of his teams games since being in the league (which includes missing all of last season). Duncan has played in 91% of his teams games since he’s been in the league. Certainly Duncan has been more consistent & durable, but the idea that Yao is likely to miss a large number of his teams games this year is not born out by history. If Yao misses 27% of his games this year, as his career average would suggest, he would miss 22 out of the teams 82 games this year. If Houston has Yao pretty healthy for 60 games this year, that should be enough for them to challenge for a top four spot in the West. They are that deep.

    Take Houston lightly at your own peril.

  • Firebrand

    Jim Henderson I must apologize the numbers i got where from a search that led me to the nba.com site apparently the numbers I was quoting where preseason totals ..oops!

  • Justin

    Thanks to Dr Who and Andrew for the warm welcome. Mr. Henderson I have enjoyed your brutal honesty so much over these past few weeks. There is no Spurs Koolaid drinking going on around here. We know our flaws a little to well. I agree that Yao will not be the same player he was. Mostly based on his own comments. I doubt he would reveal how bad it really is, but he gives some clues.
    Any player missing a whole NBA season is going to come back rusty. I wish him the best of luck. Houston has really changed their reputation the past few seasons. I guess some of it comes from Adelman, but with Scola and Battier this team plays with some heart. I agree that I wouldn’t count them out with or without Yao.

  • Justin
  • Jim Henderson

    Justin
    August 12th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    “Mr. Henderson I have enjoyed your brutal honesty so much over these past few weeks.”

    Thanks a lot, Justin. I hope it wasn’t TOO brutal! And welcome to the blog. Remember, occasional the sarcasm is usually just in good fun. Some of us just can’t resist it sometimes!

    And by the way, your Portland trade really doesn’t have a chance. The Blazers would be giving up too much youth, size, & talent, and in my view most teams still generally undervalue Blair’s true potential. I’m glad you’re thinking trade though. We certainly are missing something to allow us to compete favorably with the elite teams around the league.

  • Jim Henderson

    “….Remember, occasional the sarcasm is usually just in good fun.”

    No, it’s not your dyslexia, it’s my faux pas. Sorry. The above should read: …..the occasional sarcasm is usually just in good fun.

  • rob

    robby,

    Overall I agree with your assesment. I look forward to seeing what impact Splitter and Anderson will have. Personally I believe Anderson will fill in time at the SF slot giving the Spurs some depth if another prototypical SF cannot be signed.

    Is Pop going to give the rookies playing time? The only players to log significant minutes as rookies or second year players have been Parker, Duncan and Ginobili. Ginobili being well seasoned in Europe prior to joining the Spurs. If Splitter, Anderson and possibly Neal can garnish significant time and (more importantly)contribution on the court…that would be saying something as well as making this team significantly younger and more athletic.

    The possibilities are an A+ for this offseason. The reality is…we just don’t know yet. The outright signing of Bonner before addressing the team’s shortcomings at the b/u SF position and perimeter defense makes me give the team a B- so far.

    I look forward to seeing what transpires and will really be excited if Splitter, Anderson, and possibly Neal can be significant contributors at such young ages.

  • Jim Henderson

    andy
    August 11th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    “personally, i don’t see how you can, on the one hand, bank on the spurs’ inability to stay healthy or jell, yet on the other, disregard the rockets’ and blazers’ inability to stay healthy.”

    The most sensible way to approach it is by assuming that all of the the playoff contenders will be relatively healthy, and healthy to a similar degree as their competitors. And that’s what I’ve done. Just because a team has been bit by injuries in the last couple of years is no reason to assume that it continues. Injuries for the most part go in phases, they don’t last forever. If anything, the teams that have suffered the injury bug lately are more due for a healthy season than the teams that have been more injury free of late. Yao is a big concern, but he’s come back from similar injuries in the past, and he is still just 30 years old. And as I said, even without Yao at full strength, the Rockets will be a handful this year.

    “i’m not ranking the teams because i think it’s futile when 2-8 were separated by 5 games last year. i think we’re in for much of the same down to the wire standings.”

    I agree that the WEST could be very closely grouped for final playoff seedings in the closing weeks of the season. I just did the rankings for the fun of it. My ranking is VERY likely to be off in several spots. Hopefully the Spurs will finish higher! We’ll see.

  • Dr. Who

    @Jim
    “Yao has played all 82 games in TWO times in his 8 years in the league, which is 25% of the time. Duncan has played in all 82 games three times out of his 13 years in the league, which is 23% of the time.”

    Stats don’t lie but there’s much more to it than selective stats. We can often scew perception in a direction based on certain statistics. I’ve already submitted my novel of rankings and I do have the Rockettes higher than most, based on Yao’s health. Without Yao I still think they “could” make the playoffs, but not a hardcore contender for the WCF (with current roster). I am a huge fan of Daryl Morey and his latest move while not sexy is MIT smart. Ariza was brought it not as a defensive stopper (they’ve already go Battier). They brought him in to be “the man.” They wanted the offense run through Ariza and soon found out that he was not that guy. So dumping Ariza gets them below the Luxury Tax and also gets Lee in the proccess. If Yao does go down, the team is deep enough to have some trade assests (Brooks comes to mind if Martin finds his place) and they are not afraid to wheel and deal. No telling what the team will look like come year end. You can’t really sleep on anyone in the West. I think we both mentioned the Clipps at one time being dark horses. It will be much like last year, down to the wire.

    Now as far as Yao and his health goes, we seem to get plenty of debates over stats/history etc. etc. So… without a spreadsheet of stats this is the history of Yao. Take it for what it is, hopefully we can all put this one to bed. This is his history, maybe he can get back to his form from the first 2 years in the league, who knows? WARNING WARNING LOOONG @ZZ POST.

    After missing only two games out of 246 in his first three years of NBA play, Yao endured an extended period on the inactive list in his fourth season after developing osteomyelitis in the big toe on his left foot, and surgery was performed on the toe on December 18, 2005. Despite missing 21 games while recovering, Yao again had the most fan votes to start the 2006 NBA All-Star Game.

    In 25 games after the All-Star break, Yao averaged 25.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 53.7% from the field and 87.8% at the free-throw line. His final averages in 57 games were 22.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. It was the first time that he ended the season with a so-called “20/10″ average. However, Tracy McGrady played only 47 games in the season, missing time because of back spasms. Yao and McGrady played only 31 games together, and the Rockets did not make the playoffs, winning only 34 games. With only four games left in the season, Yao suffered another injury in a game against the Utah Jazz on April 10, 2006, which left him with a broken bone in his left foot. The injury required six months of rest.

    Early into his fifth season, Yao was injured again, this time breaking his right knee on December 23, 2006 while attempting to block a shot. Up to that point he had been averaging 26.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game, and had been mentioned as an NBA MVP candidate. Yao was unable to play in what would have been his fifth All-Star game; he was medically cleared to play on March 4, 2007, after missing 34 games.

    Despite Yao’s absence, the Rockets made the playoffs with the home court advantage against the Utah Jazz in the first round. The Rockets won the first two games, but then lost four of five games and were eliminated in Game 7 at home, despite Yao’s 29 points—15 in the fourth quarter. Although he averaged 25.1 points and 10.3 rebounds for the series, Yao said afterwards “I didn’t do my job”. At the end of the season, Yao was selected to the All-NBA Second Team for the first time in his career, after being selected to the All-NBA Third Team twice.

    On May 18, 2007, only weeks after the Rockets were eliminated from the playoffs, Jeff Van Gundy was dismissed as head coach. Three days later, the Rockets signed former Sacramento Kings coach Rick Adelman, who was thought to focus more on offense than the defensive-minded Van Gundy. On November 9, 2007, Yao played against fellow Chinese NBA and Milwaukee Bucks player Yi Jianlian for the first time. The game, which the Rockets won 104–88, was broadcast on 19 networks in China, and was watched by over 200 million people in China alone, making it one of the most-watched NBA games in history. In the 2008 NBA All-Star Game, Yao was once again voted to start at center for the Western Conference. Before the All-Star weekend, the Rockets had won eight straight games, and after the break, they took their win streak to 12 games. On February 26, 2008, however, it was reported that Yao would miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his left foot. He missed the 2008 NBA Playoffs, but he did not miss the 2008 Summer Olympics at Beijing, China in August. After Yao’s injury, the Rockets stretched their winning streak to 22 games, the second-longest in NBA history. Yao underwent a successful operation on March 3, which placed screws in his foot to strengthen the bone, and recovery time was estimated at four months. Yao’s final averages in 55 games were 22.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks a game.

    The next season, Yao played 77 games, his first full season since the 2004–05 season, and averaged 19.7 points and 9.9 rebounds, while shooting 54.8% from the field, and a career-high 86.6% from the free throw line. Despite McGrady suffering a season-ending injury in February, the Rockets finished with 53 wins and the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Facing the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, Yao finished with 24 points on 9 of 9 shooting in the first game, and the Rockets won 108–81, in Portland. The Rockets won all their games in Houston, and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1997, and the first time in Yao’s career.

    The Rockets faced the Lakers in the second round, and Yao scored 28 points, with 8 points in the final four minutes, to lead the Rockets to a 100–92 win in Los Angeles. However, the Rockets lost their next two games, and Yao was diagnosed with a sprained ankle after Game 3. A follow-up test revealed a hairline fracture in his left foot, and he was ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs. In reaction, Yao said the injury, which did not require surgery, was “better than last year”. However, follow-up analysis has indicated that the injury could be career threatening. The Yao-less Rockets went on to win Game 4 against the Lakers to even the series 2–2. The Rockets eventually lost the series in seven games.

    In July 2009, Yao discussed the injury with his doctors, and the Rockets applied for a disabled player exception, an exception to the NBA Salary Cap which grants the injured player’s team money to sign a free agent. The Rockets were granted the exception, and used approximately $5.7 million on free agent Trevor Ariza. After weeks of consulting, it was decided that Yao would undergo surgery in order to repair the broken bone in his left foot. He is expected to be available for the Rockets training camp in 2010.

  • rob

    Dr. Who
    August 13th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    These are all nice statistics regarding Yao’s presence on the court when he was prime.

    Enter season ending injuries…years of not playing a full season…and age…one simply cannot assess what Ming will be like prior to these circumstnaces.

    Ginobili wasn’t the same Ginobili after his injuries. I doubt Yao will be the same Yao.

  • Jim Henderson

    Dr. Who
    August 13th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    You provided a nice snapshot of Yao’s injuries over the years, and his value to the team when healthy. No question about it. Yao being subpar this year, and missing some games would hurt the Rockets shot at a #2 seed, and would reduce their chances of advancing deep into the playoffs. But in my view the Rockets this year are now more talented than they’ve ever been 1-10 on the roster, with quality youth and/or in prime players at every position, except for the wild card at center, with Yao, and the aging but competent veteran back-up in Brad Miller, and old Adelman hand. But they have some younger talent on their front line with Scola, the talented & up and coming, 6’10”, Jordan Hill, the #15 pick Patrick Patterson, and may be looking to sign one more “big” for insurance. And speaking of Adelman, in my view he’s a top-five coach in the league.

    Thus, even if Yao is not now his “in prime self”, and misses a number of games this year due to injury, in my view the Rockets are still essentially a shoe-in for the playoffs, and would still have a chance to crack into the top four for home court advantage. They are that deep and talented now.

  • JustinFL

    Mr Henderson

    I know it’s a long shot trade that would never happen. I felt it could be offset with Blairs upside, Tonys playmaking ability and dribble penetration vs. Oden the big gamble and Aldridge not being a good defender but a good scorer. For what it’s worth,(which would be Hollis’ opinion and practically nothing), he shows that the trade hurts both teams. But I would see it as a no brainer for the Spurs.
    Dr Who loved the Yao analysis. The numbers don’t lie. When he is healthy he is amazing. I agree that he won’t be the same player but i hope i’m wrong.
    On a lighter note this is way out there, and I’m not trying to jinx them, but I can see the Lakers dealing with a major injury this year. They’ve played through mid June the last 3 years and have been relatively healthy aside from Bynum. I’m not saying who it would be but without a Kobe or Pau we would be like a starving coyote licking his chops.
    The site of Ron Artest getting a ring literally made me throwup in my mouth. I’m not one trying to live in a fantasy land praying for injuries on other teams either. I’m just saying, between extended seasons leading to a major injury, or Artest getting bored and doing something stupid, don’t be surprised if they hit their own proverbial bumps in the road this year.

  • GitErDun

    Interesting that if you were to put Temple, Anderson, Neal, and Splitter on another Western Conf team they would be described in glowing terms of vast upside and potential. On the Spurs, just “hoped for talent destined to have minimal impact. Jordan Hill is described above as “Up and Coming Talent”. Blair who averages almost twice the points and over twice the rebounds is too short and should be traded. Players on the Spurs are always described as somehow inferior, and lacking in some manner. Even Splitter who while technically a rookie, even though he is a seasoned vet who has led teams to titles and has won MVP is talked about as being “bench fodder”. Spurs players get minimal respect, even from supposed Spurs fans.

  • Jim Henderson

    GitErDun
    August 14th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    “Interesting that if you were to put Temple, Anderson, Neal, and Splitter on another Western Conf team they would be described in glowing terms of vast upside and potential.”

    Not by me they wouldn’t. Temple is an undrafted player that has had VERY LITTLE NBA action, and has spent most of his time in the D-League. Anderson’s a #20 pick, and as such the odds are that we are fortunate if he ends up some day as a regular rotation player (this does not mean that he could not “surprise” to the upside). Neal was undrafted and has bounced around Europe & the D-league in the 3 years since he left college. He’s clearly an unproven talent at the NBA level. Splitter has some pretty heady accomplishments against the best competition in Europe, but he also is not yet proven at the NBA level.

    There’s reason for hope with these guys, but it is only wise to view these players as good prospects to some day become important role players (again, it is possible that one or more could quickly surprise to the upside), not as players that you can have a high level of confidence will produce in the NBA next season at some elevated, well-defined level. And such assessments should not change based on what team that they happen to play for.

    “Jordan Hill is described above as “Up and Coming Talent”. Blair who averages almost twice the points and over twice the rebounds is too short and should be traded.”

    Just to clarify, I am the one that characterized Jordan Hill of the Rockets as, “up and coming” (which I believe is an accurate characterization) in a previous post, but I’m not the one that had suggested trading Blair. In fact, if I had to list three untradeables on the Spurs it would be Duncan, Hill, and Blair. Blair does have a height “disability” that he will have to continue to work hard to compensate for, but I believe that he’ll become a VERY good player regardless. And of course, I certainly wasn’t comparing Blair to J. Hill in any of my references to them. That said, their basic stats per 36 minutes in their 1st season is not as diametrical as your characterization seemed to suggest:

    Hill: 14.1 ppg., 10.1 rpg., 1.2 bpg.

    Blair: 15.4 ppg., 12.7 rpg., .9 bpg.

    In your comment above you appear to be making a broad generalization, yet the evidence appears to warrant a more narrow, and nuanced critique.

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